Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pride adds Eagle owners as honorary grand marshals; issues letter regarding Officer Harris's selection

SoVo and PQA report that the owners of Atlanta Eagle have been named as honorary grand marshals for Atlanta Pride 2009, and that the Atlanta Pride Committee has issued an open letter regarding their selection of Officer Dani Lee Harris as grand marshal:

Making the announcement of Officer Harris as one of our grand marshals in the wake of the raid has caused some members of our community distress.  We understand how and why this is the case.  However, it is important to APC for our community to understand that we chose Officer Harris as grand marshal for two reasons:
  • She showed exemplary courage in publicly coming out as intersex while working in a potentially hostile environment.

  • Through speaking engagements and diversity training, she has served well as a voice for the LGBTQI community within a police force that includes gay and gay-friendly officers as well as others who still clearly have more to learn.
If Officer Harris had come out as intersex prior to the 2008 Pride Festival, it is quite possible that she would have been honored last year.  Her story came to light in the July 11, 2008 edition of Southern Voice. The Festival was held over Fourth of July weekend.

Officer Harris, we appreciate that you're in a sticky situation and hope that you are attempting to find a resolution. Please continue to talk with the community (and especially the victims) as openly as possible, to help get to the bottom of the Eagle raid issue. Just keep that communication going, and we'll be thrilled to cheer you on in the parade.

For those who think Officer Harris should step down, bear in mind that the person in charge is not Officer Harris. She has a boss too. Sometimes we don't agree with our bosses, yet we still try to make things work better from the inside.

And to everyone, remember your vote in November will help determine the new Mayor... and therefore who will pick the next Atlanta Police Chief. Talk to the candidates and vote wisely!

1 comment:

  1. Am I the only one that thinks hiring a Chief from New Orleans is a joke. Considering New Orleans history of corrupt officials and just plain poor policing, no wonder we are starting to follow course.